Celebrating Lifelong Learners at the MY Education Awards 

The 9th MY Education Awards brought together Out-of-School-Hours Learning Support Program (OSHLSP) coordinators, volunteers and young people from across Victoria to celebrate their incredible achievements in the learning support program sector.  

The Awards saw more than 100 people gather at the State Library of Victoria on 13th September in recognition of OSHLSP contributions to the success of primary and secondary student learning in the state.  

Kick-starting the event was Indu Mulligan, an up-and-coming jazz vocalist, and guitarist Gus Cox with a peppy multilingual guitar and vocal duet in English, Sinhala and Hindi.  

Rianne Pablo, CMY Shout Speaker, Youth Advisory Group member and law student, was the MC of the event and began by welcoming the attendees and sharing her own experience with learning support programs.  

“If the OSHLSP sector taught me one thing, it’s not about where you learn, it’s about the sheer determination, hard work and effort you put in that will propel you in life,” she said. “Every minute spent in a learning support program is an opportunity for growth, learning and discovery.” 

CMY CEO Carmel Guerra OAM then gave an address, sharing the story of how the Awards were established in 2015, thanking the Victorian Department of Education for their continuous support of the OSHLSP sector, and introducing a brand new award category this year for Outstanding OSHLSP Newcomer. 

Special guest, The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Women, spoke to the pride she feels about Victoria being the most multicultural state in Australia and its reflection in our schools.  

“Every one of these programs represents a strong community of students, teachers and volunteers working together to ensure young people strive,” she said. “The Victorian Government is proud to have committed $11M to support these vital programs.” 

In this year’s State Budget, the Victorian Government is investing another $20M to expand refugee education support programs that improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for students and their families, including the work done through CMY’s Refugee Education Support Program (RESP) and Learning Beyond the Bell.

Keynote speaker Mahsa Nabizada, a science student and ABC Heywire storytelling competition winner, spoke about the value of learning support programs and expressed her gratitude to the OSHLSP coordinators and volunteers in the room. 

“You are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to transform the lives of disadvantaged students and unlock their potential through the gift of learning,” she said. “I salute you for your valued contribution to society.” 

Finally, we heard from Year 5 student Ezra Gebrehawerya who was shortlisted for Outstanding Primary Student and shared his experience as part of the Kensington Neighbourhood House’s Study Support Program. 

The Awards were then presented to the well-deserving winners and runners up across the six categories. MY Education Team Leader Melanie Cutler congratulated this year’s nominees. 

“The MY Education Awards are a fantastic opportunity to highlight the tireless work of students, tutors and program that happen week in, week out,” she said. “It’s a chance to pause, reflect and acknowledge this work and its incredible impact that quietly happens.” 

A heartfelt congratulations to all nominees and this year’s winners: 

OSHLSP of the Year – Metropolitan  

After-School Program, Banksia Gardens Community Services 

OSHLSP of the Year – Regional/Rural  

CCV & NBC EAL Study Group for Years 9 & 10, CatholicCare Victoria 

Outstanding OSHLSP Newcomer 

Melton Education Program, St Vincent de Paul Society 

Outstanding Volunteer 

Claire Kelly, SMECC Homework Club, Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council  

Outstanding Student – Secondary 

Fatima Jama, Aiming High (Craigieburn), Banksia Gardens Community Services  

Outstanding Student – Primary 

Harley Nhien, Noble Park Education Program, St Vincent de Paul Society  

Learn more about the support offered for OSHLSPs through Learning Beyond the Bell